"We are the "Body Worlds" (kind of)" Heidelberg by lifeisatrip
Heidelberg Travel Guide: 1,044 reviews and 2,752 photos
Have you seen "Body Worlds"? The plastination process was started and perfected in Heidelberg by Professor Gunther Von Hagens. However, the professor opened his “Plastinarium“ in Guben, Brandenburg in 2006, taking away the honor from our city. :(
Although Heidelberg is mostly known for Ruprecht Karl Universität (Heidelberg University’s official name), its biggest attraction is the Schloss (Castle). The castle's courtyard is the setting of the operetta, ”The Student Prince“ written by Austrian composer Sigmund Romberg and produced in the US in 1924, an adaptation from its German original. Every summer, tourists and locals alike get to enjoy the Operetta. The castle itself has some romance permeating its history.
Heidelberg is a “Romantic City” nestled on the Neckar River, and one of the established capitals of the Palatinate. It is, without a doubt, a “young” city compared to other cities in Germany, and by that I mean, it has many young people living in it, and that is attributed, of course, to the university. Of the population of about 140,000, about 28,000 are students.
Heidelberg is situated south of Frankfurt Am Main and north of Stuttgart. It sits on a valley and once held the title as the center of Europe. However, since borders seem to be constantly changing as new countries emerge, that is no longer true.
It is a bicycle-friendly city. These two-wheelers share the roads with motorized vehicles, especially when the weather starts warming up. It is truly amazing to see the elderly pedalling to their destinations. It's a testament to their physical fitness. It's something we all can learn from; instead of driving to a destination only a mile away, we can ride a bike or even walk. Furthermore, the Deutsch drivers show patience with bicyclists. They patiently chug along behind it until they get an opportunity to pass. If they get bothered by it, I would not have a way of knowing. I know that if this was someplace else, the driver will be blowing his/her horn impatiently. However, patience is out the window when the Germans are on the autobahn! This is a separate chapter by itself.
Heidelberg also boasts having the most days of sunshine in all of Germany! But this fact brings little comfort when it rains for days and we don't see sun. So it is a big deal when it does come out. Gives us Heidelbergers a reason to celebrate. Prost!
Letter I wrote shortly after our arrival in Germany
Guten tag, meine Freunde und Familie!
Two months in country and we are still sleeping in a futon on the floor. This is not conducive to them old knees, the ones that came with our young bodies! :) But relief is on the way! Our household goods shipment and the vehicle are finally due for delivery this Thursday. Hallelujah! My body is rejoicing; it can't wait to lie down in a real bed! Furthermore, Kiyoko's barking should not echo anymore.
For those of you who are thinking or even remotely thinking of traveling over this way, here’s our home phone number: xxxxxxxxxxx. Or shoot me an e-mail at xxxxxxxxxx to give us a heads up. We will have a bed waiting for you, your own bathroom, and even hot or cold home-cooked meals depending on the temperature outside which will probably be the same temperature inside. Not to worry this will only be true in our summer home. The winter home will be kept warmer. However, our summer home also happens to be our winter home; spring and autumn as well. Just to warn you – no airconditioners here; they don’t come standard. In fact, the stores just started selling portable ones. ACs here do not use freon, so they do not deliver the cool air we are used to. I was told it mainly takes out the humidity, which in turn takes the edge off the heat.
We live up on the ridge 10 kilometers southeast of the Heidelberg Schloss, in a village of about 3,500 named Gaiberg. It stays about 5-10 degrees cooler here compared to the valley. To help keep the house even cooler I orchestrate the goings up and down of the rouladens – down where the sun hits the house and up on the other side. Rouladens are aluminum shutters installed outside the windows that can be rolled up or down. They keep the house really dark even in the daytime. Bunker shades, I call them!
My mode of transport is a rental car – a Ford Ka, cute itty bitty car, very convenient for someone who does not know where she's going. It advertises to carry four passengers; the driver and three anorexics, maybe. It is too small that Mike and I can pick it up if we were to get blocked in the parking lot. Anyway, I’d get on the autobahn with the windows rolled down and floor it. I would be going so fast Kiyoko wouldn’t even dare get close to the window. I felt like Mario Andretti. However, to my dismay cars kept coming up behind me really FAST, which kept me going back and forth from left to right lanes. Then I happened to look at my speedometer and realized I was only going 75 miles an hour! The Ka, being so tiny, gives me the sensation that I was traveling at high rates of speed. How disappointing!
I am TRYING to learn German. I do some exercises to help me with pronunciation, i.e. spitting the non-existent fur ball - “acht!” The first time I did this; Kiyoko was so startled she wouldn’t stop barking at me. I think maybe she thought I had turned into a cat. Now she just gives me a dirty look. I start my formal classes next month.
It has been raining everyday since the beginning of August, which puts a damper on Kiyoko’s and my walks through the woods in the national park, about two short blocks away. Because she’s low on the ground and all furry, she tends to pick up dirt, sticks, burs, mud and all sorts of surprises, ticks included. Sometimes she comes out of the woods looking like a Christmas tree, with dried leaves sticking and hanging all over her body. I have since dedicated my mornings cleaning these things off her. Don't I have a life anymore? :-(
I hope some of you will make it here. Recommended time of visit is in the autumn as summers have been getting hotter every year (according to the neighbors). In July we had highs in the low 90s coupled with high percentage of humidity. It can get very uncomfortable. Just imagine me shopping in a non-air-conditioned store - drenched in sweat, whilst the locals do not even break a sweat!
You will not be hearing from me for a while as I will be busy turning our bunker into a home. I'm so excited!
Take care y’all!
Heidelberg has very mild winters, very short daylight however. The last two winters, we really didn't get much snow. And whatever we got didn't stick on the ground or if it did, only for a couple of days. I don't mind it at all. It would be nicer though if the sun comes out once in a while.
The picture to the right shows how much humidity we have here. That's hoar frost covering vegetation. It is really pretty, driving on dry roads yet being surrounded with a wintery scenery. I loved it!
- Pros:Small and friendly city. Gets the most sunshine in Germany.
- Cons:Small city.
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Written Jul 3, 2008
In and around Heidelberg
Written Sep 19, 2008
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